Canine Hematochezia: Dog Blood in Stool

Dog blood in stool can be caused by a serious illness, but it may be no cause for concern at all. If your dog has only a few drops of red blood in his stool a couple of times, there is no need to worry. However, if it persists, it could be a serious problem.

Causes of Bloody Stool

There are many causes of bloody stool, the most simple being a small tear in the anus caused by straining during a bowel movement. This would cause a small amount of blood only once or twice before healing.

However, bloody stool is often associated with diarrhea, vomiting or difficult bowel movements, in which case it may be caused by something more serious. If the blood is on the outside of the stool, the blood is in the anal canal. If it's deeper within the stool, it is coming from an internal cause. If it is black and tarry, that's caused by internal bleeding deeper in the body, and you should consult a veterinary immediately.

Common causes of bloody stool include consumption of a sharp object, parasites, bacterial infection, problems with the intestines, colon or rectum bleeding, bowel cancer, anal sac infections, irritable bowel disease, blood clotting problems or allergies. Bloody stool could also be caused by consumption of a toxin or other substance that upset your dog stomach, including a diet change.

If your dog is young, the most likely cause for bloody stool is ingestion of a foreign object or parasites. If you have an older dog, bloody stool can often be much more serious. If the bloody stool is accompanied by other symptoms, such as vomiting, coughing or lethargy, this can often help you determine the cause.

Diagnosis and Treatment

If you notice the bloody stool persisting, take one of the stool samples to your veterinarian for analysis. If you notice signs that your dog may have gotten into the trash or a toxin, take that toxin with you to the veterinarian as well. Your veterinarian may need to run other tests, such as X-rays, blood tests or urinalysis to determine the cause.

Treatment will depend on the cause. Your veterinarian may recommend a diet change, such as a few days of a bland diet consisting of boiled chicken and rice. A spoonful of canned pumpkin, not pumpkin pie mix, soothes the digestive system and is often recommended to cure diarrhea or bloody stool. A spoonful of cottage cheese can add healthy bacteria to your dog's digestive system.

If your veterinarian finds an illness, antibiotics or other medication may be prescribed. If there are parasites, your dog will need a dewormer. Surgery may be required if a tumor or foreign object is found. Cancer may also require chemotherapy or radiation treatment.

There are many causes for bloody stool, many of them easy to treat. If the bloody stool doesn't persist for more than a day, there may have been nothing wrong. However, if it does persist, your dog could be suffering from a serious illness and require treatment.